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Shelby County, Shelbyville to meet about trash plans

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Joint meeting Wednesday will review bidding options

By Todd Martin

The curbside trash/recycling movement will take another step forward on Wednesday when Shelbyville and Shelby County officials meet again to discuss the possibility of joint legislation.

Because of a conflict at Stratton Center, the meeting has been moved to the Tulip Room at Shelbyville City Hall, starting at 6:30 p.m.

“Hopefully we can start to agree on some things that we both want,” said Shelby County Magistrate Tony Carriss, who has taken the lead in bringing together representatives of the city and county. Carriss is chair of the county’s Legislative Committee.

Carriss noted several things that will need to be discussed, including:

  • Curbside service.
  • Senior citizen discount.
  • Pickup for those unable to get trash cans to the curb.
  • How often trash is picked up.
  • Recylcing.

“Those are just some general things that we need to talk about and see if our objectives are the same,” he said.

Both Carriss and Shelbyville Mayor Tom Hardesty believe that a joint city-county contract would be attractive to companies.

“Our density is a little different than the county’s, obviously, and we want to get the best price for our citizens, but if we can help the county get a better price, we’d like to,” Hardesty said. “I think that would be a very attractive contract.”

Carriss agreed: “Together we’d have just about fourteen thousand homes. We can get a bid for the city and outside the city, and put together it would be more attractive. But we could end up with different rates for inside the city and outside.”

Rusty Newton, the chair of the 109 Board, which oversees solid waste disposal and in-county landfills, will lead the meeting.

“I know the city and fiscal court have gathered information separately, so once we start to answer some of these questions [about how each entity wants to handle the issue], we’ll have to figure out how to move forward,” Newton said.

Newton also noted that he’s eager to help both sides, because the 109 Board can’t move forward with its plans for a new facility until the city and county decide what they want to do.

The 109 Board has held several public meetings to introduce a proposed new facility on Windhurst Way, near Martinrea Heavy Stamping. The new facility would replace the Waddy Convenience Center and 7th Street Recycling Center, combining both in the new location. It would also come with a fee, predicted to be about 3 cents per pound, for garbage disposal. Recycling and brush disposal would remain free.

This new facility would cost about $2.5 million on top of the $565,000 already spent to purchase 25 acres. About $125,000 has been spent on the development plan.

“We’re in a holding pattern while they’re making decisions,” Newton said. “But we have asked both the city and county to get this resolved as quickly as possible, because we would like to have our facility finished this year.”

The 109 Board would continue to plan a new facility but would change the scope of its plans based on the city and county’s plans.

“We have started to think about what we would do if there is a joint plan,” Newton said. “We haven’t done anything official, but we have started having that conversation in meetings. We’ll be ready to move forward no matter what they decide. But we won’t making any formal decisions until they decide.”

Carriss said that although he believes a joint contract would help costs for the more than 70 percent getting curbside pickup now, he still doesn’t want to rush into things.

“There are a lot of details to be worked out, and I think it’s going to take quite a while,” he said. “But this isn’t something that we want to rush into.”

Joint trash meeting

WHEN: 6:30 p.m., Wednesday

WHERE: Tulip Room at Shelbyville City Hall

WHY: For representatives of Shelbyville City Council and Shelby County Fiscal Court to discuss the possibility of joint legislation for mandatory curbside home trash and recycling pickup.